Allergens and Sleep
Does it feel like the blooming flowers and grasses are lasting longer this year?
What is an allergy? In September we wrote about springtime allergies and shared some bedroom allergy reducing products. A few of us have noticed the allergy season is running a bit late this year, so we'd like to add a few more tips:
- Get plenty of sleep, reduce stress as much as possible and eat healthy. Our immune system works better when rested.
- Keep pets out of the bedroom, especially while experiencing allergies. Pets may carry pollen and spores from outdoors on their fur. Additionally, many people are allergic to pet dander.
- Certain houseplants may cause allergies for some people. Test your sensitivity by removing these from your bedroom for 1-2 weeks and see if your allergies subside.
- Smoke irritates our lungs, throat, eyes and nose and makes us further prone to allergies. Keep windows closed during bush fires. Though it might sound extreme, don't overlook avoiding exposure to household smoke, such as tobacco, incense, fire pits or barbeques.
- Many allergy experts suggest a shower before bed to remove pollens, spores, dust and dander from your hair and skin.
- Use washable mattress and pillow protectors. Wash bedding in hot water to remove dander, spores, pollen and microbes. Vacuum your mattress while the sheets are off.
- Replace or clean filters in household ventilation systems, air conditioners or evaporative coolers as per the manufacturer's instructions.
- Vacuum rugs and carpets often and replace the vacuum filters frequently. When practical, mop hard floors rather than sweeping; this prevents the churning of dust and irritants from the floors into the air.
- Have a professional service steam clean curtains, sofas, chairs or carpets that you cannot easily clean yourself. Open the windows and ventilate the bedroom during and after the steam cleaning.
- Close windows when allergens are likely to be in the air, such as when the lawn is being mowed or there is windy weather.
By following these simple steps, you should experience a more restful night’s sleep and be able to enjoy the transition into summer. Speak to your GP before taking allergy medications. You may also want to discuss other factors that could be causing your symptoms, such as food sensitivities. Be sure to visit a medical professional right away if your allergies become more severe, or if you suffer from asthma, sleep apnea or any other respiratory condition.